Antonio Bachour grew up in Puerto Rico and was hooked on pastries from a young age thanks to a childhood spent in his family’s bakery. He spent his early years in Puerto Rico as a pastry chef at the Sand Hotel and Casino and the Westin Rio Mar Beach and Resort. In 2001, he found Bachour in Miami Beach as executive pastry chef at Talula (NY Times Best New Restautant). And soon he was trying his hand at Italian delicacies at both Devito South Beach and Scarpetta (New York Times 3*) in New York and Miami. In 2009, Bachour was asked by KNR Food Concepts to be part of the opening team at the W South Beach Hotel. Shortly thereafter, he assumed responsibility for all pastries for the Trump Soho Hotel and its restaurants. Pastry Chef Bachour was selected as one of the “Top 10 Pastry Chefs” in America for 2011. Antonio was one of the finalists in the 2011 International Culinary Congress Pastry Chef Competition.
In 2012, Johnson and Wales University selected Antonio for the Zest award for Baking & Pastry Innovator. Pastry chef Bachour was the Executive Pastry Chef at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort for the duration of 2011-2016 and responsible for Jean George’s dessert program (3 * Michelin) at the resort. Bachour’s hyper-creative desserts have been featured in numerous pastry publications such as So Good Magazine, Dulcypas, Saber y Sabor (Spain), Starchefs (The Architecture of New York), Gourmet Magazine, Dessert Professional, Pastry Art & Design, National Culinary Review (magazine of the American Culinary Federation). Antonio Bachour has published five books called Bachour, Bachour Simply Beautiful, Bachour Chocolate, Bachour The Baker and Bachour in Color. Pastry chef Antonio Bachour travels the world frequently to teach classes and share dinners with the world’s best chefs. Bachour was awarded the Best Chef Award in Milan in 2018 for the best pastry chef in the world. In 2019, Esquire Magazine recognized Bachour as the 2019 Pastry Chef of the Year. Pastry chef Antonio Bachour owns three bakeries in Miami and will soon open his fourth concept in Downtown Doral.
What inspired you to become a pastry chef? You’ve been in the industry for quite some time. Is there anything you would have done differently when you first started?
I felt inspired when I saw pastry chefs working in my parents’ bakery at the age of twelve. That was love at first sight. So I didn’t want to change it because it was my first love! Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing about my career because it was learning at every level, and every experience added value to my career. I worked from beginner positions to become a celebrity chef.
You’ve worked in some tough kitchens. Did you do anything to build your confidence and make sure you always kept up the momentum?
Working in the kitchen is not easy, I always had a lot of discipline. I considered this profession as a career, and I respected it a lot. When you have a passion for this profession, everything comes easy to you in a way.
What is the latest trend in the baking and pastry industry? What is one food trend (pastry) that you wish would just go away?
I think the trend in pastry today is laminated doughs, like croissants and puff pastry. Also healthier desserts with less sugar and fat content. There is a growing interest in croissants and pastry dough. I think that cupcakes are overrated, this trend should definitely be stopped.
What is your baking style and the philosophy behind it?
My baking style is clean, with an explosion of flavors and the wow factor of aesthetics. My philosophy is that people eat by sight, they get mesmerized when they first see my desserts, and fall in love all over again when they taste them.
What is your favorite pastry?
My favorite food is Asian, I also love Chinese, Japanese and Indian food. My favorite desserts are those that have a creamy texture, like mousse, crème brûlée, panna cotta and crèmeux.
What advice do you have for aspiring pastry chefs?
My advice to aspiring pastry chefs is to be passionate about their career. Being passionate about the work we do is the key to success! They should be organized and disciplined. Finally, aspiring pastry chefs should definitely work with several experienced chefs in their first few years to learn different techniques from each expert.
What are your future plans as a pastry chef?
My plan for the future, to open my own pastry school, with careers ranging from 6 months to a year. I also want to open more bakeries and pastry shops with my brand all over the world.
Would you consider yourself an artist? ?
I think I can call myself an artist. We create works of art when we create pastries, cakes and desserts. I am inspired by several paintings, I often go to art galleries for inspiration. I also get inspired by architecture and colors.
The theme of local food, from smaller, specialized producers known personally, is becoming more important. What are some of your local partners that you draw inspiration from?
For me, it’s very important to support small producers and farms. I work with an organic farm from which we buy fruits, flowers and small greens. It’s called Tropical delight and it’s located in Miami. The quality of the product is of better quality and at the same time you are helping small suppliers.
What do you think is the most important/ winning feature of your creations?
I think the winning and most important factor in my creations is the higher quality. The quality of the ingredients is the most important thing in my creations and in my pastry shops. Quality is definitely paramount in my creations and in my bakeries.
What are the most important considerations when creating your menu?
Balance is the most important consideration when creating my menus. A menu has to be well balanced. We need to know our customers well in order to create a menu that will be well received by them.
Have you ever thought of becoming a vegan pastry chef?
I think I can never be vegan. In pastry, the main ingredients are butter, cream, milk, etc. I respect vegan pastry chefs and their products a lot, but for me a good pastry has to have the basic ingredients that give it the taste and texture we are used to.
How can restaurants/hotels/chefs communicate the approach of innovative sustainable plant-based foods/food chains to others?
We need to be conscious of our health and eat a balanced diet by consuming more natural, organic and plant-based products. We should also be able to educate our customers about this aspect.
Hiring and retaining talent is one of the biggest challenges in any industry, but especially in the hospitality industry. How do you talk to your employees about career growth and advancement?
We need to constantly encourage and motivate our employees. One important factor is to keep creating new desserts so that our employees can innovate and avoid routine and boredom. It is also important to deal well with the
What will your next book be about?
My next book will be published at the end of the year. It will be the sixth book I have written. This book will feature sable desserts, puff pastry, travel cakes, a book with a very different concept compared to the others I have written so far.workers and trusting them while working is an important factor.